The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has clarified that it will continue to deliver its programs and services, including the payouts for the cash grants of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the implementation of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) even during the election period.

The cash release for the 76,047 beneficiaries will continue during the election period, a statement from the DSWD through Jason Eco Oliverio, information officer for Listahanan of the DSWD MIMAROPA Field Office, said.

The statement made the clarification after the Commission on Elections’ (COMELEC) newly-released resolution on April 1, 2019, approving the petition for the exemption of its routine and normal expenses from the prohibition against release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds as stated under Section 262 (v.2) of the Omnibus Election Code.

He said the DSWD also requested for an authority to continue its ongoing disaster relief, early recovery, and rehabilitation efforts, and to undertake possible relief, early recovery and rehabilitation efforts during the election period.

The COMELEC resolution further stated the condition for programs requiring expenditures, the expenditures are limited to an amount equivalent to one quarter only, for the duration of the election period.

In addition, the Department affirmed that it will not stop its delivery of programs and services to the Filipino people during the elections, and will uphold its mandate to provide effective, efficient, and transparent services.

The DSWD also assured the public that it will properly monitor its implementation of programs and services to prevent them from being used by politicians during their campaigns for the 2019 election.

Of the total 76,047 beneficiaries regionwide, 30,777 are from Palawan.

However, of the total number, only 6,686 beneficiaries or 22 percent have been paid through branches of the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP).

Each beneficiary receives P2,400 a month.

Oliverio said the LBP has an ongoing bidding for conduits.

“Yes, kasi until now ongoing pa rin bidding ng LBP for conduits, bale ang ipa-payout lang ‘yong may LBP branches region-wide, in the case of Palawan, yung PPC, Coron at Brooke’s Point,” he said.

The LBP is in the process of looking for conduits or financial institutions such as banks, pawnshop, and cooperatives that are capable to pay.

The payment is expected to start in July this year.

The budget for release to the beneficiaries is now with LBP.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.